British Columbia has some of the best terrain for snowmobiling, and Shuswap County is a place where it really shines. Tyler Backus, avid snowmobile racer and backcountry rider, is the store manager of Backus Racing in Sicamous, the family business that he runs with his father. He took some time to talk to us about the best trails for snowmobiling in and around Sicamous.
Backus said that one of his favourite places to go sledding is an area called Hunter’s Range.
“It’s a kind of go-to trail with access for any type of rider,” said Backus. “It’s just outside of Enderby, about 15 minutes from Sicamous. It’s groomed trails to all of the powder and backcountry, so everyone can go. You’re not going to be just stuck with certain people who want to go to a certain place.”
Hunter’s Range is also the home of the Hunter’s Range Snowmobile Association, for which Backus volunteers as a trail groomer. The organization manages two different trails in the backcountry of Enderby, the Ashton Brash trail and the LaForge trail, both located in Hunter’s Range.
Sledders looking for a more a more powder-filled ride can check out Blue Lake, just 15 minutes east of Sicamous.
“It’s more steep, with more secret spots,” said Backus, “so there’s a lot of fresher snow out there.”
Blue Lake has areas for all levels. If you’re a less experienced rider, or if you just want a relaxed day in the fresh alpine air, then there are plenty of open places for a smooth and easy ride. If you’re looking for vertical and unique climbing areas, a little bit of searching will take you to exactly what you need.
Before heading out for a day in the snow, don’t forget to check in at the Blue Lake Chalet. The chalet was built by Dave Micku, a construction worker and member of the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Grooming Society, with the help of club volunteers. It features a training hill for new sledders, and is located in a convenient open area with easy access.